The Chase – a Review of Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

LibraryOfSoulsIn this final installment of the trilogy of  Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, Emma Bloom and Jacob Portman are desperately chasing after the kidnapped Miss Peregrine and the peculiar children while being chased by wights and hollows.The book picks up where book 2 left off. And if you haven’t read the previous books, it includes a glossary of terms explaining that hollowgasts or hollows are “monstrous ex-peculiars who hunger for their former brethren’s’ souls”. And it defines wights as “hollowgasts who once consume enough peculiar souls become a wight.” Both are monstrous in some way in appearance and definitely in actions.

With the help of Addison, a peculiar dog, Emma and Jacob follow the scent trail of their group of peculiars. They take terrible chances and face monsters and monstrous humans on the way.

The beginning of the book, I found to be very dark, I had trouble continuing to read it for a while. Then as their adventure progresses, hope becomes more of their companion and it got easier for me to read. The development of Jacob’s talent was a surprise. It was revealed at the end of book 2 and continues in book 3. Jacob can control to some degree at least one hollowgast at the beginning of the book, allowing them to escape. I don’t think that’s too much of a teaser since it’s right in the first pages of the book. How his talent develops after that takes the course of the whole book.

The children and Addison travel through a few time loops before they find the other peculiar children and their guardians, the Ymbrynes.The descriptions of what they encounter are very vivid. They are made more so by the accompanying vintage photography that illustrates the book.

The characters they encounter are interesting, particularly Sharon who offers to ferry them across to Devil’s Acre, for a price. The monstrous Caul – the architect of the kidnapping, and his wishy-washy brother are also interesting characters.

The pace of the book is swift. Can’t help but turn the pages once things really get going to find out what happens next. At the end of the book, I stayed up late to finish.

This book could be read without reading the previous two, but I would recommend reading the first 2 before this for characterization and to add depth to the experience. It gives a better picture of what is at stake if you’ve read the prior books.

I found the ending satisfying for the most part. It was a little convenient right at the end, but it worked. I would recommend this book for both teens and adults who appreciate a good fantastical YA read. I gave it 4 stars.

I borrowed my copy from my local library system.

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